If you’ve started your business up and are at the point where you’re looking at growing it, then you need to start thinking seriously about your outsourcing strategy and how best you can manage that effectively.
Following are 10 steps you can take on that journey:
1. Identify Tasks That Can Be Eliminated
You should think carefully about how you spend your own time. Using a tool like Rescue Time is a good idea – this helps you to map out and understand over the course of a week or two where your time is being spent. This way you may be able to identify tasks that can be eliminated straight away by delegating to outsourced staff.
2. Identify Tasks That Could Be Done By Someone Else Just As Well, If Not Better
If you are spending time doing menial tasks that can be just as easily and just as well done by someone else, if not better, think about outsourcing it.
3. Identify The Most Time-Consuming Tasks
Really you should be looking at any tasks that take up your time that don’t make you money or are not part of your core competency. For example, scanning the Fiverr site for 3 hrs per day for marketing ideas is not directly making you any money so it should be outsourced!
4. Identify The Most Stressful Tasks
If a task is driving you to the Valium bottle then it’s not making you productive…and may be damaging your health! Getting someone else, better equipped or less easily stressed, to do it makes a lot of sense.
5. Identify The Most Important Tasks
These are all the tasks tied to the main core of your business – the things that bring in the dosh and which you can do best! These are the ones you want to keep a close handle on. Knowing what NOT to outsource is just as important as knowing what to outsource!
6. Build A Process-Dependent Business
Keep things organized as a process-based rather than a people- based business so that if staff change (as they will inevitably do over time) then the processes remain and someone else can pick up the ball.
7. Create A Step–By–Step System
Make sure your processes are “granularised” – that is split down to their bare bones so that they are easy to follow, point by point. This makes them easier to outsource.
8. Don’t Miss Any Steps
It’s important that you and your VAs know that no steps are to be missed in your system or it can all break down…just like an engine that’s missing a part.
9. Don’t Be The Bottleneck In The System
Make sure that you, yourself, aren’t holding the system up by being the bottleneck. If you are the manager in a fast food restaurant and every burger that gets flipped needs to be inspected by you personally before getting to the customer, you are the bottleneck. The same will apply in your business unless you are prepared to delegate tasks and responsibility when you outsource.
10. Better To Spend 30 Minutes Teaching Than 10 Minutes Doing!
Often it’s better to spend half an hour teaching somebody a task than 10 minutes doing it yourself – especially if the task is a recurring and repetitive one.
The above steps outline an outsourcing strategy that will help you start to grow your online business, going from a one-man band to a team-based environment. There is a lot more great advice on expanding your business successfully using teams of virtual assistants. Click here for more tips and strategies.